- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On December 2, 2011
- 1 Comments
- 2011 EPL Season
By Geoff Reid
Newcastle United vs Chelsea from St. James’ Park, Newcastle
The black and white are coming off a very good 1-1 away draw at Old Trafford last weekend and should be in full confidence after a very good performance against Manchester United. The home side will also have extra incentive as they will honor former midfielder Gary Speed who was tragically found dead at his Welsh home last week. Chelsea on the other hand can look favorably at their last league game beating Wolves 3-0 at home, although that was sandwiched between two home losses to Liverpool in league and cup play. The pressure will be on Andre Villas-Boas, unnecessarily maybe, but the blues need a result here.
Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Chelsea
Blackburn Rovers vs Swansea City from Ewood Park, Blackburn
Rovers are without a win in the league since September 17th, and although manager Steve Kean may not have won the sack race, his team have not looked like climbing the table like he continues to say in the media. They also suffered defeat in the Carling Cup in midweek to Championship side Cardiff City in which Kean admits he fielded an under strength side because of this one. The Welsh visitors themselves have not won in three matches, but are sitting in an okay position in the league table, and Brendan Rodgers will be looking for his squad to get back on track in this one.
Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Swansea City
Manchester City vs Norwich City from the Etihad Stadium, Manchester
The citizens continue to sit pretty at the top of the Premier League boasting a five point lead still, even though they could only manage a draw away at Liverpool last Sunday. A decent win against Arsenal in the Carling Cup a few days ago showed as well that City have the squad to cope with playing on multiple fronts. Norwich will not be relishing playing the leaders on their own turf, but the canaries have had a great start, and sit comfortably in mid table and will be buoyed by defeating fellow newcomer QPR last weekend after snapping back to back defeats.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Norwich City
QPR vs West Brom from Loftus Road, London
Like fellow promoted clubs Norwich and Swansea, QPR sit comfortably in mid table, and Neil Warnock has spent wisely, but will look to strengthen the squad in January when the transfer window opens. After a slow start, West Brom have put some good results together, and it looks as though they will be okay barring no major injuries or serious collapse of form over the second half of the season.
Prediction: QPR 1-1 West Brom
Tottenham vs Bolton Wanderers from White Hart Lane, London
Spurs are coming off five wins on the bounce, and while they have never won six league games in a row in their history, manager Harry Redknapp will be looking to win this one, and overtake Manchester United and sit in second place. The form guide also states that Tottenham have won six out of their last seven games against a Bolton side who have suffered back to back defeats, and a team that currently sit in the drop zone. If Owen Coyle envisions his side climbing up the table, it needs to start now no matter how big the task.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-0 Bolton Wanderers
Wigan Athletic vs Arsenal from the DW Stadium, Wigan
The Latics manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with his side’s wins way to Sunderland last weekend which sealed Steve Bruce’s fate as Sunderland manager. Any sort of win would do for a struggling side, and while that was positive, things still don’t look good for the home side, especially going against an Arsenal side who have been in top form on all fronts. It was only a defeat in midweek Carling Cup action against Manchester City that put a dent on recent form, but Arsene Wenger will still feel his players should brush aside Wigan with relative ease.
Prediction: Wigan Athletic 0-3 Arsenal
Aston Villa vs Manchester United from Villa Park, Birmingham
Alex McLeish’s Villa are coming off a 0-0 away draw to Swansea last weekend, but before that they lost to in form Tottenham 2-0 away from home and in that game, and McLeish got a lot of men behind the ball and looked to counter attack when possible. Something says the same will be done here against the defending champions. United, who got beat by Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup in midweek, will be looking to bounce back from that defeat. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have not won in three games, so the red devils will be looking to put that right starting tomorrow.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United
Everton vs Stoke City from Goodison Park, Liverpool
David Moyes’ Everton have now won back to back games, and will be looking to continue the positive results against a Stoke side that have struggled in league matches after their exploits in the Europa League. Potters manager Tony Pulis will want to end that, just like they ended a four game losing streak last week with a win against strugglers Blackburn. Before kickoff, like up in Newcastle, Everton will be honoring former player Gary Speed, which will be extra incentive for the toffees.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Stoke City
Wolves vs Sunderland from Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
This one won’t be the prettiest of matches, with both sides needing results to climb the table. Going into the game, Wolves sit one place below Sunderland on goal difference only and right above the drop zone. The big story this week has been the sacking of now former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce and Bruce’s assistant Erik Black will take temporary charge of the first team for this one with what looks like former Aston Villa and Celtic manager Martin O’Neil taking over as manager of the black cats.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Sunderland
Fulham vs Liverpool from Craven Cottage, London
This week’s Monday night game comes from west London, with Fulham struggling for form and needing results. Martin Jol’s team suffered a defeat in the Europa League Thursday evening, and will be looking to bounce back quickly against an in form Liverpool side. With the last three games against Manchester City and Chelsea and picking up two wins and a draw in the process, Kenny Dalglish can feel confident going into this clash. The bad news for the reds is that Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva is now done for the season with a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament after the Carling Cup win against Chelsea.
Prediction: Fulham 1-2 Liverpool